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Tufton bats for World Health Organisation to reclassify ganja

Published:Thursday | May 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Health Minister of Health, Dr Chris Tufton, has made a call to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for it to change its classification of ganja.

Currently, the international organisation categorise ganja as a Schedule 1 Drug, that is an illegal drug with no medicinal benefits.

However, Tufton wants it reclassified to a Schedule which reflects its important potential for medicinal use.

He argues that the change in classification is an important step in facilitating efforts by countries like Jamaica to promote its medicinal uses while maintaining a sound public health approach.


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Tufton’s recommendations come amidst WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence ongoing review of the medicinal value of cannabis.

The Minister, who maintains that there are medicinal and economic benefits to be derived from cannabis, has also urged the WHO to be more assertive in distinguishing between the medicinal and recreational dimensions in the interest of public health.

He asked the WHO to provide clear leadership on the public health approach to the development of new policies on cannabis now being advanced in many countries

Tufton tendered his position while addressing the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday.